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Friday, April 18, 2014

A’s, Doolittle agree to 4-year extension

OAKLAND—The Athletics have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract for the 2014 through 2018 seasons. The agreement also includes club options for both the ‘19 and ‘20 seasons.

The A’s have always gone for these long-term contracts for young pitchers, but I think this is the first time they’ve done it with a reliever. Along with Johnson’s $10M signing the A’s seem to be shifting away from “relievers are fungible”. Who knows what the terms are, of course. (This is really a 4-year extension since as stated it includes this year).

Athletic Supporter is trying to remember your name Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, moneyball

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   1. PreservedFish Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4689001)
   2. The District Attorney Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4689011)
I guess it lets you make him the closer without having to worry about it blowing up his salary.
   3. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4689013)
[2] Exactly. Guys going to arbitration, especially early in the process, are the worst ones to make a closer from a financial perspective as saves bring in big money from arbitrators.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4689343)
Do we know the money yet?

Viewed from one angle, relievers other than $12+ M closers are excellent value. And even with those guys is not necessarily bad value.

Well, with one big caveat -- if they are predictable.

For example, last year for the A's, Balfour, Doolittle and Cook totaled 199 IP with 199 K, 65 BB and 13 HR. 66R, 61 ER, 2.76 ERA, 4 WAR. What does that cost you on the starter market? At least $20, maybe $25 M these days.

Even the more pedestrian (and one cherry-picked) quartet of Blevins, Neshek, Chavez and Otero totaled 197 IP with 163 K, 74 R, 67 ER which is still a 3.07 ERA and 2.7 WAR. That would be around the 15-20 range (Jon Lester).

Of course it's fairly easy to find those sorts of guys. The average AL reliever in 2013 K'd 8.5/9.
   5. Danny Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4689671)
Vague contract details from Susan Slusser:
There is a caveat, though - Doolittle's new five-year contract includes incentives for games finished from 2015 to '17. So if the A's continue to use Doolittle as one of several closers or, especially, as the team's primary closer, he'll get a bump in salary, according to sources.

Terms have not been released but Doolittle, 27, is likely to get around $14 million guaranteed over five years, with the deal worth more than $20 million if options for 2019 and '20 are picked up.

It sounds something like:

2014: $1.5 million
2015: $2.0 million
2016: $2.5 million
2017: $3.0 million
2018: $4.0 million
2019: $4.0 million (team option, $1M buyout)
2020: $4.0 million (team option, $1M buyout)

Plus, as Slusser reports, there are incentives for Games Finished from 2015-2017. The options may be worth more than that; "more than $20 million" is pretty ambiguous.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4689842)
Looks like maybe he was going to be a super 2, so $14 M for 4 arb years is ... still seems high for a middle reliever who have only recently broken the $5 M barrier as FAs. Robertson's 3 arb years have cost the Yanks $10 M. If he's the rare reliever who's consistent and healthy, the option years could be nice.

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